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22 pieces of wisdom from George Orwell novels

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While George Orwell might have written just six fictional novels, his work has ensure him a much-deserved place at the top of any greatest writers list. His influence is far-reaching and his enviable knack for creating thought-provoking one-liners has made his work endlessly quotable.

If you're an Orwell fan or you enjoy a smart piece of day-improving insight then you're going to enjoy this. A lot. We hope.

Here are the 22 best pieces of wisdom from Orwell's novels:

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“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

1984

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“The past is a curious thing. It’s with you all the time. I suppose an hour never passes without your thinking of things that happened ten or twenty years ago, and yet most of the time it’s got no reality, it’s just a set of facts that you’ve learned, like a lot of stuff in a history book. "

Coming Up For Air

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“Sometimes I think we're all corpses. Just rotting upright.”

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

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“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

1984

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“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing”

Animal Farm

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“Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.”

Coming Up For Air

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“It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.”

Burmese Days

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“The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.”

1984

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“It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith—as mysterious as faith itself.”

A Clergyman's Daughter

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“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

Animal Farm

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“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

1984

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"One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing."

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

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“Envy is a horrible thing. It is unlike all other kinds of suffering in that there is no disguising it, no elevating it into tragedy. It is more than merely painful, it is disgusting.”

Burmese Days

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“Think of life as it really is, think of the details of life; and then think that there is no meaning in it, no purpose, no goal except the grave. Surely only fools or self-deceivers, or those whose lives are exceptionally fortunate, can face that thought without flinching?”

A Clergyman's Daughter

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“The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.”

Animal Farm

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“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

1984

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“An earthquake is such fun when it is over.”

Burmese Days

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“...you can get anything in this world if you genuinely don't want it.”

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

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“We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.”

1984

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“Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.”

Burmese Days

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“Poverty is spiritual halitosis.”

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

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“...the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.”

1984

(Images: Rex Features)

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